Ancient African King - Najashi - Black History and Literature Library
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    Ancient African King - Najashi

    Armah (Ge'ezአርማህ) or Aṣḥamah (Arabicأَصْحَمَة‎), also known as Al-Najāshī (Arabicٱلنَّجَاشِيّ‎), was the ruler of the Kingdom of Aksum who reigned from 614–631 CE. He is primarily known through the coins that were minted during his reign. It has been suggested that it was either he or more probably his father who gave shelter to the Muslim emigrants around 615–616 at Axum.

    Traditionnal Muslim sources indicate that the Islamic prophet Muhammad prayed an absentee funeral prayer (Arabic: صَلَاة الْغَائِب‎, romanized: Ṣalāt al-Ġāʾib) in Madinah which is performed upon a dead Muslim if they die in a place with no Muslims to pray for the dead. This is one of the justifications provided by Muslims that Al-Najashi died as a Muslim.

    Scholar of ancient Ethiopia, Stuart Munro-Hay (1947–2004), stated that either Armah or Gersem was the last Axumite king to issue coins. Bronze coins from the reign of Armah depict him as a full-length figure enthroned, with Christian cross motifs throughout.

    Armah's silver coins have an unusual reverse, showing a structure with three crosses, the middle one gilded. Munro-Hay quotes W.R.O. Hahn as suggesting that this is an allusion to the Holy Sepulchre, as a reference to the Persian capture of Jerusalem in 614.

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